On Monday, July 25, the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, tried to dispel Afghans' fear of a plunge into another chaotic period as international forces have begun to withdraw from the country. Two main themes ran through his address after being sworn in at the U.S. embassy in Kabul: No rush for exits and no permanent bases in Afghanistan.
Both of these issues are of high relevance for Afghan people as they see security situation in their country continues to deteriorate after a decade of international presence. As far as withdrawal is concerned, there are legitimate concerns among Afghan people about any rush and without taking ground realities into consideration. Crocker said, "We must proceed carefully. There will be no rush for the exits.
The way we do this in the months ahead will have consequences far beyond Afghanistan and far in the future." In fact, there is a need for sustained commitment on the part of international community, in particular the U.S., to continue their military, political and financial support for Afghanistan until it really gets stabilized and stands on its feet.
But only the decision not to have a hasty exit cannot solve Afghan problems. International community and Afghan government must figure out how to expand democratic gains, how to stabilize the country without compromising on human rights and women's hard-earned freedoms and how to strengthen democratic institutions instead of investing on individuals that can easily turn autocratic.
As million of dollars are paid to High Peace Council, which runs parallel to elected institutions, a bit of push is needed for reforming the government institutions and fighting corruption as well, which has virtually the same negative impact as the insurgency. As Afghans do not want to be left alone once again, they do not want to remain stuck in this terrible situation either.
They want a fundamental change in their environment, their security, life, economic situation and so many other aspects of their life. But as far as the U.S. military bases are concerned, they have been mainly looked at from the perspectives of neighboring countries that do not want Afghanistan to be the spotlight and instead want it to be unstable and insecure.
Afghan parliament and political parties must consider and analyze it on the basis of our national interests. Unfortunately, the disagreements to this are usually out of emotional ground and fed by the neighboring countries.